Month: December 2015

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Should Pastors Write Systematic Theologies?

A while back I wrote about the importance of keeping a personal copia, a topical index of quotes, arguments, illustrations, and examples. Here the point is far, far more specific. It’s about pastors and their writing habits. A friend, who will remain anonymous, thought he had nothing to say when I suggested he write a …

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Growth in Grace: Means

In previous posts I’ve been writing about God’s grace and what it means to grow in that grace. To grow in anything, at least on purpose, we need to have three things. Vision, Intention, and Means. Today, we learn about means. By what means can we grow in God’s grace? A word about means, means …

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It’s a New Year: Be the Ant

Pro 6:6-8  Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.  (7)  Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,  (8)  she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. This is a short passage. In context, the author is talking about settling accounts and avoiding poverty. There are four …

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Growth in Grace: Intention

The main idea is that in order to approach the Biblical vision of Christ-like character there must be a moment of decision as well as several moments wherein we actually intend to make the vision a reality in our lives in cooperation with what God’s grace is already doing. In the previous posts in the …

Intellectual Virtues

I can help you get smarter. Will you try it?

Many people feel insecure about how smart they are. This can even be the cause of anxiety when reading a difficult book or taking a test in school. This anxiety holds a lot of people back from the happiness they want. I know many religious people who don’t study their holy books or bright young …

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The “Act as-if” Hypothesis

In the Bible there is a significant body of moral commands directed to the human emotions, passions, and desires. There are essentially two ways these passages are explained: Commands to Feel as Literal Commands to Feel They are commands to the passions and passions can only be activated by specific experiences, therefore while God is …

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Growth in Grace: Vision

Main Points Having a vision for who we want to be is crucial for all personal growth. Therefore, such a vision is important for spiritual growth. The Christian vision for human excellence and happiness is found most directly in the person of Christ and explained in differing degrees of clarity and intensity throughout Scripture. Introduction …

Self-Mastery

Self-Mastery and Physical Pain

In Xenophon’s book on Socrates, he describes the great man like this: In the first place, apart from what I have said, in control of his own passions and appetites he was the strictest of men; further, in endurance of cold and heat and every kind of toil he was most resolute; and besides, his …

Fortitude

When Aggression is Good

Aggression has gained a reputation as purely negative, especially if it is masculine in origin. I think that aggression advances our individual and civilizational aims and promotes human happiness.

Fortitude, Temperance

If You Struggle With Anxiety

Some advice for anxiety is literally non-advice. Are there concrete steps for dealing with anxiety?  An article at a famous news outlet recently stated:  If you worry about the fact that you worry so much, take a deep breath: We have some good news. Researchers have found that people with anxiety often have higher intelligence. …